On why the Russian persecution of political and religious minorities

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“ Since Russia has adhered to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, it is legally required to guarantee religious freedom and freedom of speech. Both of these rights, however, have long been neglected. One of the bases on which the main discrimination is based is the law against extremism introduced in 2002. In theory, it was necessary to fight terrorism: the original text prohibited ‘incitement to conflicts for ethnic, nationalist or religious reasons’ and banned ‘violence or the instigation of violence’. Over time, various changes have been made and the reference to violence has been eliminated: this has allowed the Russian authorities to use the law to pursue political opponents of the government of President Vladimir Putin and religious groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses, despite being peaceful and not violent ”

Translated from Italian.

Il Post, ‘Russia has banished Jehovah’s Witnesses’, Il Post

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